Asantehen Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll
Asantehen Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has thrown his weight behind the clampdown on illegal mining (galamsey), saying the move is to protect the nation’s environment from extinction.

Speaking in Manhyia following a courtesy call from the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Mr Peter Amewu, Otumfuo said the sweeping ban on mining is not to prevent people from mining but to allow the government roll out a comprehensive policy on mining so as to protect the environment.

“The suspension of the small scale mining is fine. We need to plead with the small scale miners to understand this; that government is not saying that you can’t mine but for now, please stop for them to come up with a better programme,” he said.

“Mr. Minister, please continue. Your ministers are supporting you. We support you and want you to do the right thing for Ghana. You are not doing it for yourself, you are doing it for generations yet unborn.”

The minister’s call on the Asantehene comes on the heels of protest from small sale miners in the Ashanti Region over the ban.

Addressing the miners, Otumfuo said: “They [small scale miners] are also to be blamed because they were mining and the galamseyers were mining. They could have drawn government’s attention to the fact that these people who were doing galamsey were destroying the environment. These are issues that are multifaceted so we need to take bold decision and confront it and find an amicable solution and from there, we can move on.”

He also advised the minister to develop a blueprint on mining that will clearly state Ghana’s position and the challenges in the sector which need solutions.

“Do a blueprint and do a road show to present it to them so they [possible donors] know this is our position and this is our predicament and we need them to support and we can find solutions to that,” he urged.